Teal Pumpkins

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As a teacher I complained about the kids in my classroom with food allergies, not because I was annoyed with them or their parents, it was actually due to the fact that some the other parents (those without kids who had food allergies) had a hard time coping and understanding.

My third year in the classroom, I had about 3 peanut allergies, I was prepared with my email to all parents, a sign for my classroom, and a list of alternative foods for the little ones to bring for snacks and lunches…

I sent out THE email (with a huge list of alternative foods) to all parents who had students in my classroom a few weeks before the school year started and I got back a response that might surprise you (it baffled me).  She responded with saying that she had worked in the health field and that these (and she quoted it) “peanut allergies” are not really “peanut allergies” and the measures that I was taking were ridiculous.  She also went on to say if I was making these accommodations for these kids with these allergies, what accommodations would I be making for her child who ONLY ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch?  Ummm, really?!  I DID NOT know how to respond to this email. Why did he ONLY eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches?! I wanted/needed to keep my job, so I responded respectfully explaining that this is a common practice in classrooms and even schools and again gave her alternatives for her son to eat.

Flash forward to about a year and a half later when my son Lincoln was about 6 months old.  He was diagnosed with food allergies (which I will get into in a later post).  It is been a journey for my family and I, discovering foods that contain ingredients you would never guess.

Now at 16 months, he has been tested multiple times through both blood tests as well as the “poke” test and still seems to be allergic to nuts, wheat, and sunflower (by far the WORST one!) and as he is becoming more aware of what his 3-year-old sister is snacking on, it is becoming increasingly frustrating for him (and heartbreaking for us).

imageThe Teal Pumpkin Project is a national campaign by Food Allergy Research and Education (also know as FARE).  It encourages and raises awareness of food allergies during trick-or-treating. You can log on to the website and pledge to hand out non-food treats during trick-or-treating.  You can even purchase a bag that contains all safe treats for kids with allergies.

imageYou also can participate in painting a pumpkin teal to support the cause, as we did!

Thanks for stopping by!

~Kelsey~

Check out the website here: http://www.foodallergy.org/teal-pumpkin-project#.VhJvduFdFdg

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